Bicyclist Hit by Van, Critically Injured

A 54-year-old Palm Desert bicyclist was reported in extremely critical condition at Fountain Valley Medical Center trauma unit Tuesday after being struck by a van on East Coast Highway just west of Bayside Drive in Newport Beach.

Police traffic investigator Mark Fisher said James Waddington was riding east in the highway’s bicycle lane when he cut into car traffic in an apparent attempt to reach the left-turn lane.

Fisher said witnesses reported that Waddington barely managed to avoid drivers in two of the eastbound traffic lanes then was struck by a Volkswagen van in the fast lane. Police said the driver of the van was not charged.

Fisher said Waddington suffered head injuries when he and his bicycle were thrown 45 feet by the impact.